Sharaby, Rachel, and Aviva Kaplan. “Between the Hammer of the Religious Establishment and the Anvil of the Ethnic community. Rabbis of Ethiopian Immigrants in Israel.” Journal of Modern Jewish Studies 14.3 (2015): 482-500.
This article examines the ambivalent status of rabbis of communities of Ethiopian immigrants who serve within the framework of the religious establishment in Israel. On the one hand, they function in their communities as spiritual leaders who are committed to Jewish law and act as representatives of the religious establishment. On the other, they belong to an excluded ethnic community which perceives them as traitors. Our findings indicate that the marginal status of the Ethiopian rabbis prevents their inclusion and strengthens components of their ethnic identity. Thus, diverse behaviour patterns and various syncretic combinations between religious and cultural elements have been created in their identity.
This article investigates structural conditions for women’s inclusion/exclusion in peace negotiations by focusing on the linkage between acts of gender stereotyping and cultural framing. Through a narrative analysis of semi-structured interviews with Israeli negotiators and administrators who participated in official negotiations during the Oslo peace process, I link two recent claims about how gender may affect negotiators’ understandings of strategic exchange: the gendered devaluation effect and the gender–culture double bind hypothesis. Building upon postcolonial feminist critique, I argue that narratives about women and cultural difference (a) demonstrate and engage with Israeli essentialist and Orientalist discourses about Arab culture and masculinity; (b) manifest how ideas about strategic dialogue and negotiations are gendered; and (c) convey how policymakers and negotiators may use cultural claims to rationalize women’s exclusion from diplomatic and strategic dialogue. Furthermore, the study implies that dominant framings of Israeli–Palestinian negotiations as a binary East–West encounter need to be replaced by a more nuanced conceptualization of cultural identity that captures contextual aspects of difference, including the existence of military power and masculine dominance.
This study seeks to gain insight into a unique group, ultraorthodox women in Israel, and their views and attitudes on driving and road experiences. Ultraorthodox women are generally contending with spatial and mobility restrictions due to stringent gendered spaces and social norms in their communities. Specifically in Israel, throughout the ultraorthodox sector, women are strictly forbidden to drive. In this research, we put the emphasis on driving dilemmas that have received marginal attention both socially and empirically. A qualitative method was used, based on face-to-face in-depth interviews, with women from three major ultraorthodox communities. The findings reveal that the driving ban for ultraorthodox women in Israel generates ambivalence and conflict, and exacts a heavy social price. Moreover, in line with approaches of feminist geography, it raises issues of gender relations and cultural implications, such as restricting the space and the mobility of women in order to keep them in a subordinate position. The results are discussed in terms of gender roles, cultural exclusion, and spatiality, on both the practical and emotional levels. The study opens a window to a unique sector of the Israeli population, revealing unique dilemmas with which ultraorthodox women grapple daily in their community.